Call for entries: BP Portrait Award 2016

Deadline: Tuesday 2 February 2016.

The Portrait Award, now in its thirty-seventh year at the National Portrait Gallery and twenty-seventh year of sponsorship by BP, is the most prestigious portrait painting competition in the world.

With a first prize of £30,000, and a total prize fund of £61,000, the Award is aimed at encouraging artists to focus upon and develop portraiture in their work. The competition is open to everyone aged 18 and over.

The BP Portrait Award 2016 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery from Thursday 23 June to Sunday 18 September 2016.

Closing date: 2 February 2016

First Prize: A cash award of £30,000, plus, at the judges’ discretion, a commission worth £5,000, to be agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist.
Second Prize: £10,000
Third Prize: £8,000
BP Young Artist Award: £7,000
All entrants aged between 18 and 30 will automatically be considered for both the BP Young Artist Award and the BP Portrait Award, but an individual cannot win both.
BP Travel Award 2016: £6,000


Judging and the Exhibition
To enter the BP Portrait Award 2016 artists should upload a digital image of their work for a first round of judging. All images will be viewed by a panel of judges and the entrants who are successful in this round will be invited to deliver their work to a venue in London for the final round of judging and the exhibition selection, including Award-winners.

In 2015 a record 2,748 artists submitted their work and the exhibition, which featured fifty-five paintings, was seen by nearly 330,000 people at the National Portrait Gallery.

Many artists who have had their work exhibited have gained commissions as a result of the considerable interest in the BP Portrait Award and the resulting exhibition. Recent commissions by BP Portrait Award artists include Ken Livingstone by Andrew Tift (BP Portrait Award 2006 winner).

All entries will be judged on an equal and anonymous basis by this year’s judges:

Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery (Chair)
Christopher Baker, Director, Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Alan Hollinghurst, Writer
Sarah Howgate, Contemporary Curator, National Portrait Gallery
Jenny Saville, Artist
Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts & Culture, BP

For all further enquiries please contact:
BP Portrait Award 2016
National Portrait Gallery
St Martin’s Place
London WC2H 0HE
020 7321 6699

For full details and how to apply, visit the website.